News & Analysis

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    Eric Schmidt speaks out against ALEC on climate change. But what about the rest of Google’s ties to deniers?

    Last month, Microsoft made headlines after it cut ties with the American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC), a Koch Brothers-backed right-wing public policy group that’s been involved in a murderer’s row of controversial issues over the past three decades. That includes pushing climate change denial in schools, calling gay people a “health risk,” advocating for controversial Voter ID laws, and crafting a piece of piece legislation that would enact Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law on…
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  3. CitiBank

    With banks desperate for fresh thinking, the Citi Mobile Challenge is a small but welcome bit of progress

    Large incumbents in every industry struggle to innovate. There’s a whole shelf in most bookstores dedicated to this “dilemma.” Last summer we produced an entire series called “Dancing Giants“ about the lengths established companies go to to contort their organizations to foster more innovation – at least in the cases where they’re willing to admit they have a problem. In some cases this means launching incubators, accelerators, and skunkworks labs. In others, it means acquihiring a bunch of fresh, young, startup…
  4. climate-change-march-dicaprio

    Hollywood Trash: How skeptics distort the climate change debate to be about anything but science

    Yesterday afternoon, over 300,000 people gathered in midtown Manhattan for the “People’s Climate March,” which organizers claim was the “largest ever” climate change rally. Politicos like Al Gore rubbed elbows with Hollywood stars like Leonardo DiCaprio amid a sea of homemade signs demanding policy changes to help curb rising temperatures — which the majority of climate scientists agree are manmade and may lead to a host of dangerous (and expensive) consequences for both animal and human habitats. But while the discussion over climate change, an…
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    The Moment of Truth: Glenn Greenwald is the worst at influencing elections

    Glenn Greenwald arrived in New Zealand a little over a week before the country’s general election, armed with damning claims (courtesy of Edward Snowden) that NZ Prime Minister John Key had — despite assurances to the contrary — authorized mass surveillance to be conducted on New Zealanders. When Greenwald landed, Key was looking a safe-ish, if slightly wobbly bet for re-election. A recent tell all book from NZ investigative journalist Nicky Hager, Dirty Politics, had forced resignations in Key’s government and…
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  7. isis-gaza

    US criticized for “feeding the trolls” in the fight against ISIS on social media

    As Obama stands poised to implement his plan to arm Syrian rebels against ISIS, there’s another fight playing out between US officials and the Islamic extremist group — and it’s taking place on social media. In order to counter ISIS’s well-oiled social media propaganda machine, which has included everything from beheading videos to Instagram photos of cats next to assault rifles, the State Department has launched a campaign on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr called Think Again…
  8. San Francisco

    Why San Francisco may not be the most useful reference point for the Uber-ification of local transport

    With taxi industries and local regulators looking to understand the implications of a ride-sharing dominated local transportation market, San Francisco is held up as the prototype. After all, the Bay Area is home to Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, and thus was the initial market for each of these services, which are now seven-, five-, and four-years-old, respectively. This makes data presented at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority’s board meeting last Tuesday of particular interest. According to the latest study,…
  9. elsewhere

    Kickstarter updates Terms of Service to address creator failures

    Kickstarter has updated its Terms of Service to make the steps that project creators who raised sufficient funds on its platform and then failed to deliver their backers’ rewards (or whatever was being funded) must take clearer. [Source: CNET]
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    Google asks the FCC for permission to test its drone-delivered Internet system

    Google has asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to test its drone-powered Internet delivery system, according to a letter sent to the agency spotted by Mashable, with the hope of testing its utility in a controlled environment before filling the skies with it. The drones are part of Google’s efforts to deliver Internet connections around the world with balloons, satellites, and the solar-powered vehicles it acquired with Titan Aerospace in April. Facebook is working towards the same goal with
  12. China's fist

    Blockades and IPOs: China’s Great Firewall gives its companies an advantage over Western counterparts

    China is making it even harder for Western companies to bring their services into the country. The New York Times reports that the Chinese government has “draped a darker shroud over Internet communications in recent weeks” to “tighten internal security,” and in doing so it’s made it even harder for companies like Google to offer many of their services in the country. Google’s services were all blocked in China in the lead-up to the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square…
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  14. IMAG0116

    Grubhub targets cash-rich, brain-poor consumers with “Bro, do you even takeout?” ad campaign

    Silicon Valley gets a lot of shit — rightly so — for the brogrammer culture that has infected some, though not all, west coast tech startups. Uber, Snapchat, Secret, Tinder all hop readily to mind when you think of companies operated by, or staffed by, dicks. Still, at least most companies on the left-hand side of America are slowly realizing that a “for dudes, by dudes” image is great for “male lifestyle brands” but best avoided if you want to maintain widespread popularity. Apparently…
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    20 years on, a Star Trek writer on how his vision of a tech-ruined San Francisco is panning out

    In 1994, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine showrunner and executive producer Ira Steven Behr had a profound experience along the Santa Monica boardwalk. The weather was beautiful, and daytrippers and tourists were frolicking and taking pictures. There was also a sizeable homeless contingent sprawled about the scenic coastline, and it was the interaction between these groups that struck Behr, and prompted him to write the “Past Tense” episodes of DS9, first broadcast in 1995. “People were just ignoring them completely……
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    New York’s “ecommerce” companies are more fashion than tech. But that’s a good thing

      Ecommerce is a fickle bitch. It seems so easy with its clear cut business model. At times the budding Web ecosystems of San Francisco, New York, and LA have all been lulled by the ecommerce siren song, only to see a wasteland of once-hyped companies that couldn’t scale or come up with a customer acquisition cost that didn’t make Wall Street want to barf. So is it a worry that some of the more promising New York companies are…
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  18. davidsongoldin

    Indiegogo’s PR person doesn’t want me to tell you that he’s telling you nothing about Indiegogo

    “We strategically manage reputations based on our proven understanding of how and why some stories have impact, while others fade away.”Goldin Solutions Throughout Pando’s reporting on Indiegogo scampaigning in 2014 the company has been comically tightlipped. Of 16 requests for comment I’ve made to the company dating back to the end of March — on everything from a currently running campaign for the Ritot smartwatch that has banked $1.3 million despite being proven to be complete…
  19. Alibaba

    Alibaba: A tasty dish (just don’t ask how it’s made)

    “When you trust, everything is simple. When you don’t trust, things get complicated.” Jack Ma Alibaba is here. Much like a pregnancy, the IPO involved years of planning, months of gestating, and, finally, weeks of mounting hype. The NYSE midwifed the offering with the utmost care to avoid another Facebook, and the result was a textbook example of a successful IPO: priced at $68 a share, opening at $92.70 a share, with strong demand throughout.…
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    Want to start the next billion dollar company? Look on Craigslist, says investor Jeremy Levine

    As massively disruptive as Craigslist has been — particularly to the newspaper industry which has lost an estimated $5 billion in revenue to the online classified site — it doesn’t exactly impress in terms of design, software, or user experience. Sure, its simplicity has always been part of its charm, and what it lacks in grace it makes up for in breadth of potential use cases. Furthermore, far be it from me to tell Craig Newmark how to run a company with over 20 billion…
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